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Today I bleached my son’s hair.  That is something I never, ever thought I’d hear myself say.  Let me tell you about it.

First, I am a big believer in never say never.  But, like most people I do have a few steadfast rules that would probably qualify as a never.  Never stay at a cheap hotel.  Never!  Would I ever be able to give up the deliciousness of bacon or steak? Never! So, vegetarian diet is definitely a never.  And, never, ever, ever dye or bleach hair at home.  Never! Like most of these super important never rules, this one comes from life experience.  Oh, the best lessons are learned that way, aren’t they?

Here’s the story!

I have always been a blond.  Always.  Coming from two dark haired parents and two brown haired older sisters, it made me feel special.  People always commented about my blond hair, asking “where in the world did that blond hair come from?”  I felt like it set me apart from the rest of my family.  And, being the baby of the family, sometimes you need that.

Fast forward to eighth grade and my hair is getting progressively darker.  Noooooo!! Fear sets in.  Panic! I’m going to look just like the rest of my family.  Two guesses what I did.  My very well intentioned friend and I went and bought a dye kit at the store.  It really was the perfect set up.  I spent the night at my friends house.  There was very little, if any supervision.  It was like fate was telling me to do it!

Now, kids today have it easy.  You can do research online.  Watch a tutorial.  Read product reviews.  Guess what we had back in the late eighties?  Nothing.  We had nothing.  So what did my friend Tara and I do?  We winged it!

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(Let’s keep with the two guesses theme.)  Two guesses what happened…    It turned orange!  And not just a little brassy orange. It was more of an orange orange.  Picture Ronald Mcdonald hair but a little less red and a bit more of a rusty-on crack-ish orange.  It. Was. Horrible. (Forgive the picture quality on my old pictures. Sadly, they are OLD! To be totally honest, I’m not sure these pictures accurately depict the correct shade of orange my hair was.  Believe me, it was florescent! I was happy to find a picture that included my uncle!)




As a mother, I will say that my parents mastered this punishment.  On hindsight, I don’t think they did it because they were enlightened or really even gave it much thought.  I really think they were really cheap and wouldn’t pay to get it fixed and just so super pissed off at me that they wouldn’t let me pay to get it fixed.  So, I lived with it. For about 6 months until I went to Florida to spend the summer with my cousins.  My uncle took one look at it and took me to get it fixed.  Aaaaand, it has been blond ever since.  Did I mention he was always my favorite uncle?

Like I said, kudos to my parents because that was an epic punishment for a 13 year old, just starting to go through puberty, already feeling super critical in the formative years of her self image.  Whew!  Deep breath.  That was powerful stuff to relive.  I’m wiping my tears, right now on my beautifully salon bleached blond hair. HeeHee!

So, that is how the absolute, no dyeing/ no bleaching hair at home, without a professional rule came to be.  But, today I broke the rule.

Back to my son

A few weeks ago, Weston’s baseball team had a party.  They were getting ready to go play in a world series tournament and the party was kind of a send off.  Somehow this group of 9 year old boys started talking about all dyeing their hair.  Weird, right? So, Weston asks us if he could dye or bleach his hair.  We take the typical parental line of  “we’ll see.”

We were thinking no one will dye or bleach their hair and we will be in the clear.  Well, guess what happened??  They started bleaching their hair!!!  What??!! One kid got the tips bleached.  Another went to the salon and came out with the whole top of his head blond, contrasting the rest of his very dark hair.  It was getting real!!

I didn’t feel too much pressure until last night when I saw on Facebook that the fifth person on the team and one of Weston’s best friends got his hair bleached out.  Now the pressure was on. I didn’t want Weston to feel left out.  I thought it was kind of a cool camaraderie thing.  So, we talked to him.  He wanted to dye his hair blue but we were concerned that it would bleed when he was playing.  He’s the catcher.  He sweats a lot when he plays.  Our main focus was playing baseball, so the dye was out.

Kevin tried to get him to get a cool haircut.  But, my boy loves his beautiful blond locks of hair.  He also really looks up to OU’s quarterback, Baker Mayfield who has long hair.  (It wasn’t too long in this picture, but it’s long now… Weston thinks it is very cool!) And, since football is right around the corner, the haircut was not an option.  We settled on bleach.

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Let the research begin

I must remind you that this all happened last night and he and Kevin were scheduled to leave today when Kevin got off work, so time is an issue.  (I am staying here because Maizy has a Championship DII swim Meet here this weekend.  We like to call it Divide and Conquer!!)  No time to make an appointment with a professional.  What is it they say about rules????

At 845 we head out the door to Sally Beauty Supply.  I have a pretty good idea of what we need because I spent the last few hours in a frenzy of coffee drinking and internet research.  (It wasn’t really a frenzy. That just makes the story better!) The lady that helped us at the store was great.  She made me feel at ease, helping me get the right supplies and convincing me that I COULD DO THIS!

The Supplies

We bought bleach powder, developer, toner, a tool to paint the goop on and gloves.  It cost right around 20 dollars.  Not bad!  When we got home we put on old clothes and took before pictures.  We were both excited and nervous.  It was really fun!  I kind of felt like I was being pulled out of the molasses of my old boring, safe mom mentality and forced into the exciting world of “try it, it’ll be fun.” And, “what’s the worst that can happen?” It was definitely a major veer away from my normal mom attitude!

Quick High Performance Blue Packette Powder Lightener – $4.99
from: Sally Beauty
16 oz Oreor 30 Volume Creme Developer – $5.99
from: Sally Beauty
Color Charm Pale Ash Blonde Toner – $6.49
from: Sally Beauty
Purple Extra-Wide Tint Brush – $2.19
from: Sally Beauty
ColorBrite Latex Gloves – $3.59
from: Sally Beauty

Let’s do it!

Okay, so I mixed the bleach powder and developer as instructed.  I wished that we had gotten two bleach powder packets because it was juuuuuust barely enough.  I started on the top of his head at the ends of the long part of his hair and worked my way down.  Then, I painted the sides and back where his hair is shorter.  I learned this from watching the video tutorials. Apparently the further away the hair is, the longer it takes to process because the warmth of the scalp makes the closer hair and roots process faster.  Good to know.  I let it sit on for the maximum amount of time, 40 minutes and then we washed it out.

It looked pretty cool!  Definitely took a ton of the color out!  It was a little orange-y and brassy.  Nothing like my late eighties neon hair but not really what we were going for.  So, we decided to do the toner.  Honestly, I was just really happy that 1. He wasn’t crying because he thought it was hideous and 2. his hair wasn’t falling out.  Those were two of my biggest fears when starting this endeavor!

We mixed the toner and the developer according to the package instructions.  I set the timer for 25 minutes but I became a little concerned when the toner turned purple that maybe his hair would turn purple, or silver.  So, we only left it on about 15 minutes before rinsing it out.


As I was washing out the toner, his hair looked very dark….uh oh!!  I had this fear that it would look exactly the same as it had before we started!!!  But, if baking cakes has taught me anything, it is to take a deep breath and not freak out until you see how the finished product looks.  You can’t judge a project before it’s complete!


So, we dried and styled his hair and it really turned out quite a pretty color.  (Pat on the back!) I think he wasn’t sure it was drastic enough (He was blond before and now he is blonder… I’m not too sure what his 9 year old brain thought it would look like) but I told him that if he really wanted a more drastic difference that a new boss haircut was the way to go.  (Do people say boss anymore?  Yeeeeaaaah, I didn’t think so… sigh.)  He said he liked it, he just wanted people to know that he had dyed it. Understandable.


Things I learned:

  1. Rules are made to be broken.
  2. I’m smarter than I was in 8th grade.
  3. Maybe most importantly, never say never.  Really!  I don’t know if I’ll ever have to stay in a cheap hotel or be a vegetarian, but I guess you never know what life will throw at you.  Be ready!


After seeing Weston’s hair, my daughter, Maizy had me do hers!  (She’s smart enough to not be the first guinea pig!) We used two toners (after different advice from the beauty supply) and I think it turned out a little lighter than Weston’s. She loved it!!



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